Arrest made in 18 year old murder case

Steve Stanaland
Historic City News has learned that Sheriff’s detectives and U.S. Marshals are seeking a 46-year old St. Johns County man in connection with a homicide that occurred nearly 18 years ago.

The suspect, identified by the SJSO Cold Case Homicide Unit as 46 year old Steven Leslie Stanaland is being sought for Murder. A warrant was issued last week for Stanaland’s arrest.

U.S. Marshals located a St. Johns County woman wanted for allegedly aiding Stanaland to evade apprehension. That woman was identified as 55 year old Dorian L. Shapiro who resided at 1071 Espinado Ave. A warrant was issued this week for Shapiro’s arrest on charges of accessory after-the-fact in first degree murder. She is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Dorian Shapiro

Stanaland is charged with the murder of Jesse “Pee Wee” Whitley back in January of 1991. Whitley, who was 31 at the time, was reported missing on January 14, 1991 by his mother. His body was found six days later in the water at Riverdale Park.

Following an autopsy, Whitley’s manner of death was ruled to be a homicide and the cause of death was gunshot wounds to the body.

Jesse Whitley

Stanaland and many others were questioned during the original death investigation. Earlier this month Homicide Detectives received information that led to Stanaland again and detectives reopened the case. Other witnesses were again located and questioned.

Detectives obtained enough evidence through various witnesses over the past several weeks that they were able to obtain an arrest warrant for Stanaland. He has been sought since that time and has eluded authorities.

Anyone with any information concerning the whereabouts of Stanaland is asked to contact the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office at (904) 824-8304. You can also remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward by calling CrimeStoppers at 1-(888) 227-8477.

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